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Presidential Candidates Introduce Game Bill

Potential presidential candidates Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana and Hillary Clinton of New York have introduced the Family Entertainment Protection Act, which prohibits any business from selling or renting a Mature, Adults-Only, or Ratings Pending game to a person who is younger than seventeen. On-site store managers would be subject to a fine of $1,000 or 100 hours of community service for the first offense; $5,000 or 500 hours of community service for each subsequent offense.

The bill also requires an annual, independent analysis of game ratings and requires the Federal Trade Commission to conduct an investigation to determine whether hidden content like in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2, Xbox) is a pervasive problem and take appropriate action. In addition, the bill will help ensure that consumers have a mechanism to file complaints with the FTC and that the FTC will report these complaints to Congress. Finally, the bill authorizes the FTC to conduct an annual, random audit of retailers to monitor enforcement and report the findings to Congress.

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“Many parents are being stretched thin trying to provide a good life for their children while protecting them from a coarsening culture,” Senator Bayh said. “Our legislation will give parents a hand by requiring retailers to abide by the ratings that are meant to keep children from purchasing violent video games.”

“The holiday season is a particularly important time to raise awareness of this issue. Video games are hot holiday items, and there are certainly wonderful games that help our children learn and increase hand and eye coordination. However, there are also games that are just not appropriate for our nation’s youth,” said Senator Clinton. “This bill will help empower parents by making sure their kids can’t walk into a store and buy a video game that has graphic, violent and pornographic content.”